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Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to move the Legalisation Office to Milton Keynes; which private sector users have been consulted; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the viability of a one state, equal rights solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
Dr. Howells: The UK has made no recent assessment of the viability of such a solution. Our position remains that the solution to the IsraeliPalestinian conflict is a two states solution: a democratic viable Palestinian state living in peace, side by side with Israel.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to his Sunday Times article of 6 January 2008, how many staff he intends to transfer from Europe to the Middle East and South Asia in financial years 2008-09 to 2010-11. 
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reasons his Department decided to withdraw its funding for the UK defence attaché network; and if he will make a statement. 
As part of the recent comprehensive spending review, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Ministers considered carefully the relative
priority of all of our expenditure and took the view that the FCO could not provide funding to the Defence Attaché network at the expense of FCO priorities.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what interim arrangements his Department has made with the Ministry of Defence on the funding of defence attachés at UK diplomatic posts following his Department's decision to withdraw its funding. 
David Miliband: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has agreed to put a ceiling on the charges it will ask the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to pay during the one-year transitional period, from the previous position of not charging the MOD to the future position of charging full economic costs from April 2009. The exact details have not yet been finalised.
Meg Munn: As part of its refocus of resources towards growth opportunities in emerging markets there will be a reduction in UK Trade and Investments (UKTI) Dublin operation. This move is in line with UKTIs strategy to transfer resources to a number of key emerging markets. There will, however, remain an important role for Dublins UKTI team which is being restructured to meet the needs of a mature market in a globalised economy.
Our embassy in Dublin has followed established consultation procedures with staff throughout. If redundancies do prove necessary, the package they offer will fully meet the requirements of Irish labour law.
Dr. Howells: The Government view the abrogation of the internationally-brokered Sri Lanka cease-fire agreement as a matter of great regret. I refer my hon. Friend to my statement during the debate on Sri Lanka in the House on 17 January 2008, Official Report, columns 1183-88.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether UK travel operators are obliged to notify the Government when their clients require hospitalisation while on holiday (a) in another EU member state and (b) outside the EU. 
Meg Munn: UK travel operators are not obliged to notify the Government when their clients require hospitalisation while on holiday in another EU member state or outside the EU. However, recent guidelines issued by the Federation of Tour Operators, the organisation which represents the major UK tour operators, suggest that operators should notify British consular officials of any customer they expect will have to stay beyond their scheduled departure date due to unexpected circumstances such as hospitalisation.
Mr. Jim Murphy: Since coming to power, President Berdimuhamedov has carried out some reforms but has not yet changed the fundamental political and economic character of the country. For example, he has instituted agricultural and educational reform, and modified pensions. He has relaxed travel restrictions and broadened internet access. He has encouraged students to travel abroad for education and members of the Government to learn from the experience of other countries. He has increased Turkmenistans engagement with other countries and improved relations both with its neighbours and with the wider world.
Under President Berdimuhamedov, Turkmenistan has engaged more with the UN, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and EU on human rights, including by extending invitations to experts to visit the country. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the previous OSCE Chairman-in-Office, the current OSCE Secretary-General and the Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), have all visited this year and have received assurances of co-operation from the President, including on electoral reform. ODIHR sent a needs assessment mission to the presidential election in February 2007. The Government have agreed to a comprehensive EU/UN human rights project. There have been some limited releases of political prisoners.
In late December 2007, President Berdimuhamedov announced reforms which will eventually lead to the abolition of the dual exchange rate. This is a welcome step, although it will take time to work through the economy.
Given the nature of the previous regime, it remains too early to assess the full extent and the ultimate direction of reform, but the signs are encouraging. With our EU and other partners, we will continue to work with Turkmenistan in support of the Presidents reform agenda.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role is played by the British embassy in Washington to facilitate visits by British subjects to US administration sites including the Pentagon. 
Dr. Howells: Our embassy in Washington assists with official visits to Washington and the US where requested, including those which involve visits to US Administration sites such as the Pentagon. All other requests for access to US Administration sites are usually directed to the relevant US institution.
The EU issued a presidency statement on behalf of EU member states on 27 December 2007 which noted with concern that the presidential election did not meet many Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) commitments and other international standards for democratic elections, and that the recommendations issued by the OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) after the 2004 parliamentary elections had not yet been implemented.
ODIHR conducted a limited observation mission. It noted that there were more candidates than in previous presidential elections including a female and a non-partisan candidate. However, the electorate was deprived of a genuine choice as all the candidates publicly endorsed the incumbent.
With our EU partners, we stand ready to assist Uzbekistan to co-operate with ODIHR to bring its election process and framework in line with OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department is holding with (a) the European Commission and (b) the US Administration to strengthen the sanctions regime in relation to Zimbabwe. 
Meg Munn: We are in regular contact with EU and US partners on Zimbabwe regarding the application of our respective targeted measures and how they might be strengthened. We strongly support the renewal of the EU's targeted measures for a further 12 months from February 2008. We would not hesitate to recommend the addition of further names to the list of persons referred to in the EU Common Position on Zimbabwe in response to human rights abuses or specific events.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2007, Official Report, column
1363W, on Zimbabwe: sanctions, if he will make representations to (a) the European Commission and (b) other EU-member states to (i) increase the number of and (ii) share information on bank accounts frozen as part of economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. 
Meg Munn: The UK can freeze accounts only in the names of listed persons. If further names are added to the EU regulation, any funds and economic resources held by those persons will be frozen. The UK will encourage other member states, through its participation in the relevant Brussels working groups, to share information regarding the funds they have frozen.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been frozen in bank accounts under economic sanctions taken against Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: EU member states do not systematically share detailed information for Zimbabwe, or other sanctions regimes, concerning the value of funds they have identified and frozen. However, they are legally obliged to freeze all funds and economic resources belonging to persons listed under the sanctions regime. It is prohibited to make funds or economic resources available, directly or indirectly, to these persons. The reported balance of UK frozen funds amounts to over £170,000.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what consideration has been given to making mobile telecommunications mast-sharing a requirement of future licence applications. 
Mr. Timms: The Government encourage site and mast sharing by mobile telecommunications operators as part of developed planning policy, specifically under Planning Policy Guidance Note 8. The independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), is permitted to grant powers under the Electronic Communications Code to operators, and would encourage the sharing of electronic communications apparatus whenever it considers applications.
Operators with plans to share sites and masts must ensure that any proposals for infrastructure sharing do not breach the terms of their licence under the Wireless Telegraphy Act issued by Ofcom. The mobile network operators are committed to voluntary site sharing, and all have reciprocal mast sharing agreements already in
place for standard mast sharing, redevelopment of existing masts and joint development of new masts.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the number of (a) 3, (b) O2, (c) Orange, (d) T Mobile and (e) Vodaphone mobile telecommunication masts that are shared; and between which companies each is shared. 
Mr. Timms: The matter raised is the responsibility of the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is accountable to Parliament rather than Ministers. Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to reply directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the chief executives letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many businesses in each London borough filed for bankruptcy (a) less than five years, (b) less than 10 years, (c) less than 20 years and (d) more than 20 years after their establishment in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
The information requested is not readily available and to attempt to provide it would
incur disproportionate cost. The figures given as follows are the best that can be provided in the time available from information held centrally.
Table 1 records the number of individual bankruptcy orders in the London region (classified according to the Official Receivers (OR) offices), for those cases where trading information was available. The figures are broken down by the length of trading period (years). Table 2 shows a similar breakdown for company compulsory liquidations.
It should particularly be noted that the only information held on which to base length of establishment is the trading start and end dates, but that this is only available for on average 25 per cent. of trading bankrupts and 20 per cent. of compulsory liquidations over the period requested (nationally). This means that these figures should be interpreted with extreme caution and should not be considered to be representative of the totality of trading bankrupts or company liquidations during the period in question.
A breakdown by length of establishment is not available by London borough. Further, it should be noted that there are movements of individual ORs offices between broader regions which coincide with financial years, notably in FY 2004-05, Croydon ORs office moved from Anglia to London region. This means that the statistics cannot be treated as a consistent time series.
|Table 1: Number of individual bankruptcy orders by length of time trading, in the London region, 1997-98 to 2006-07( 1, 2)|
|Trading length (years)|
|Financial year||Less than equal to 5||6-10||11-20||More than 20||Total cases trading length available|
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